Cover

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Half Title, Title Page, Copyright, Dedication

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Contents

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pp. vii-viii

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Introduction: “Coy Leericism”

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pp. 1-26

New York City, mid-1960s, black-and-white 35mm film stock and a familiar sexploitation scenario: young Candy leaves her small town. We see her departing on the train. She is fleeing the fate of her mother, a prostitute who has committed suicide. She opines in voice-over about a new life in New York City, which holds the promise of another identity and respite from the shame bestowed by maternal disgrace. ...

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1. Producing Permissiveness: Censorship, Obscenity Law, and the Trials of Spectatorship

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pp. 27-96

Sexploitation films of the 1960s, much like their classical exploitation forebears, were marked by, and their industrial identity constituted through, the horizon of prohibition and regulatory limitations on screen content operative at the time. A catalog of both an emergent category of filmic content (erotic display) and an archive of the paradoxically as yet unseen ...

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2. Peek Snatchers: Corporeal Spectacle and the Wages of Looking, 1960–1965

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pp. 97-152

In their salacious come-ons and lurid promises of the heretofore unseen and the previously forbidden, sexploitation films claimed to present a window, if not a peephole, onto America’s hidden desires and sexual practices. The sex films of this decade detailed the potential or fantasized outcomes of women’s encroaching autonomy and self-expression. ...

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3. Girls with Hungry Eyes: Consuming Sensation, Figuring Female Lust, 1965–1970

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pp. 153-196

Early- to mid-1960s sexploitation cinema established an economy of looking organized around male desire, articulated through a dialectic of prohibition and license. The innocuous and comic nature of the nudies introduced the novelty of the erotic marketplace’s new “freedom to look,” which, within a few years, ...

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4. Watching an “Audience of Voyeurs”: Adult Film Reception

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pp. 197-244

The previous two chapters have elaborated how sexploitation films consistently allegorized their conditions of reception. But what anxieties, crises of legitimacy, and modes of projection were entailed in the public imaginary that produced such fictions, and out of what cultural conditions did they emerge? ...

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Conclusion: Skin Flicks without a Future?

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pp. 245-256

There is no better place to end than in the desires for the future of the past, of sexploitation cinema’s febrile imaginary, materialized by a sex film and reflexively about the sex film as a waning form. In the year 2427, a futuristic culture lives on in what remains of Los Angeles, which was ravaged by an earthquake in 1969. The society is ruled by “Master Computer” ...

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Acknowledgments

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pp. 257-260

This book began, as many do, as a doctoral dissertation in the Department of Cinema Studies at New York University. I owe immense thanks to my advisor, Chris Straayer, who took me and this project on with boundless energy and generously guided me through numerous thickets and false starts, providing dazzling insights and steady reassurance throughout. ...

Notes

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pp. 261-294

Filmography

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pp. 295-302

Index

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pp. 303-311

About the Author

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